“Crazy Rich Asians” is crossing into uncharted territory, and no it’s not being released in China. It’s set to cross the $200 million worldwide mark very soon.
With #CrazyRichAsians closing on $200M, its success continues to puncture several myths:
1) that spandex heroes own the summer
2) that rom-coms can’t be cross-cultural
3) that comics must provide the sole source material for franchiseshttps://t.co/4krYMBUWEq
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) September 20, 2018
“Crazy Rich Asians” is one of the biggest releases of 2018, falling right outside of the top 10 in domestic box office, but above summer blockbusters, “Ocean’s 8” and “Ready Player One”. Number one is, you guessed it, “Black Panther”.
Besides generating enormous amounts of cash, CRA and BP have also been noted for being cultural milestones as the first movie featuring an all Asian cast in 25 years and the first superhero movie featuring a mostly African-American cast, including the writer and director, respectively.
Although it’s easy to tie the significance of a cultural milestone to its box office, I was struck by how lucky we were to experience other milestones that may have slipped beneath the radar.
— Writer Louis Leung (@ricedaddy7) September 15, 2018
In the same month of CRA’s release, “Searching” starring the underrated John Cho and “Blackkklansman” directed by the one and only Spike Lee were released to critical acclaim. The former starred Asian-Americans and was written and directed by an Asian-American, while the latter showcased Spike Lee at his best, even generating early Oscar buzz.
— Demi (@xdemismilee) September 22, 2018
While both films certainly haven’t faltered at the box office, they haven’t come close to the booming success of CRA or BP. The massive success of CRA and BP may have overshadowed these films, and this isn’t meant to undermine the significance of that success, but this is a reminder to celebrate how far we’ve come by supporting POC movies of all budgets.
If anything, the POC movies from 2018 was arguably paved for by a very lucrative 2017 that featured the incredibly successful releases of “Get Out” and “Girls Trip”. While “Searching” and “Blackkklansman” have received national attention, “Blindspotting” seems to have fallen through the cracks, failing to garner the traction that “Sorry To Bother You” had.
#Blindspotting is one of those movies that gets better the more I think about it.
And this is coming from a guy who normally prefers blockbuster spectacle or fun animation.
— Anthony Canzonetta (@aacanzonetta) September 20, 2018
It’s not realistic to expect every POC movie to reach the pinnacle of box office success, nor should they. Selling films by marketing them as cultural milestones or politically relevant will begin to lose its value as POC movies continue to get made.
Although we still have numerous cultural milestones and societal progress to achieve, it’s (hopefully) inevitable that POC films won’t have to be recognized just as vehicles for political or cultural statements anymore.
Then, we can appreciate them for what they are. Classics we can watch time and again. Movies our kids can discover and enjoy.
So as POC films continue to get made and come out, let’s give them all a chance. You may see something you like.
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Written in VA. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.